I wrote last week about our first taste of German with the Deutsch Centre. We received a mysterious postcard from Germany which we needed to translate from German into English using just our wits and an online dictionary. Here I will share with you how we got on.
Nothing tickles a child's curiosity like a secret message, code or cypher so when they saw the postcard they were hooked. I know from this little taster that Antje understands how children tick – I think this course is going to be tailored to their needs perfectly. Straight away we are seeing how the language can help us communicate with people in the real world. It is fun, conversational and far removed from dry school language lessons.
I copied the text from the postcard and gave both of my children a copy. Their task was to translate it on their own using the online dictionary and I promised to do the same.
Here is the text we were sent:
Ich schreibe aus meinem Dorf Mittelbach.
Ich freue mich sehr, wenn wir ab Januar gemeinsam
It took me a little under ten minutes to translate the postcard but 'Liebe Grube' puzzled me if I'm honest. I kept coming up with 'love pit' which I am confident is not a common way to sign off in any language. The sense of satisfaction I got from deciphering the German was surprising – I didn't think that I would enjoy it as much as I did. My translation is as follows but I think it is a little erroneous.
I write out from my home Dorf Mittelbach. I am very happy to learn German together in January.
Big love (love pit), Antje.
My twelve year old relished the challenge. He rather cleverly translated it all using the dictionary before writing anything down. This way, he suggested, he could make more sense of the sentences. It seems that the sign off tripped him up too.
I'm writing from my village of Mittelbach. I am very happy for when we learn German together from January onwards.
The star translator and shock lover of language is my seven year old. I gave him access to the dictionary on my laptop and asked him to give it his best shot. I wasn't expecting him to stick with it – he proved me utterly wrong. Not only did he complete the task single handedly ( with the exception of one sentence where he asked me to write down his translation because his hand was aching). He translated every word himself and left me conflicted between feeling incredibly proud of him and slightly miffed that he is much better at German than I am. I think that you will agree that his translation makes much more sense than mine.
I write out my village Mittelbach. I am very pleased when we learn German together.
Our first lesson takes place next week which is exciting. I am sure that we will find out how we have done with our postcard challenge and I suspect that I will find myself buying treats for my two successful children.
What do you think? Can you accurately translate the postcard? Have any of us managed to get it one hundred percent correct? Do you think we went about it in the best way or have you a better suggestion? Please share your thoughts with us.